Alexander Granach

Alexander Granach

Alexander Granach as Knock in Nosferatu (1922)
Born Jessaja Gronach
(1893-04-18)April 18, 1893
Werbowitz, Galicia, Austria-Hungary
Died March 14, 1945(1945-03-14) (aged 51)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting place Montefiore Cemetery
Other names Jessaja Granach
Occupation Actor
Years active 1920–1944
Spouse(s) Martha Guttmann (m. 1914–1921) (div. one son)
Partner(s) Lotte Lieven ( 1933-1945) his death[1]
Children 1

Alexander Granach (April 18, 1893 March 14, 1945) was a popular German actor in the 1920s and 1930s who immigrated to the United States in 1938.[2]

Life and career

Granach was born Jessaja Gronach in Werbowitz (Wierzbowce/Werbiwci) (Horodenka district, Austrian Galicia then, now Verbivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine), to Jewish parents and rose to theatrical prominence at the Volksbühne in Berlin. Granach entered films in 1922; among the most widely exhibited of his silent efforts was the vampire classic Nosferatu (1922), in which the actor was cast as Knock, the lunatic counterpart to Renfield, effectively a substitute name for Dracula. He co-starred in such major early German talkies as Kameradschaft (1931).

The Jewish Granach fled to the Soviet Union when Hitler came to power. When the Soviet Union also proved inhospitable, he settled in Hollywood, where he made his first American film appearance as Kopalski in Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka (1939) for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Granach proved indispensable to film makers during the war years, effectively portraying both dedicated Nazis (he was Julius Streicher in The Hitler Gang, 1944) and loyal anti-fascists. Perhaps his best role was as Gestapo Inspector Alois Gruber in Fritz Lang's Hangmen Also Die! (1943). His last film appearance was in MGM's The Seventh Cross (1944), in which almost the entire supporting cast was prominent European refugees.

Granach died on March 14, 1945 in New York from a pulmonary embolism following an appendectomy. He was buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Springfield Gardens, Queens.[3] Alexander Granach's autobiography, There Goes an Actor (1945) was republished in 2010 under the new title, From the Shtetl to the Stage: The Odyssey of a Wandering Actor (Transaction Publishers). His son, Gad Granach, lived in Jerusalem and wrote his own memoirs with many references to his father.




  2. "A. Granach Dead; Stage, Film Actor - Tomasino in 'A Bell for Adano' at the Cort Theatre Was 54 - Studied Under Reinhardt". New York Times. March 16, 1945. p. 15. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  3. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (Third ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-7864-7992-4. Retrieved 23 September 2016.

External links

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